Reservoir and pond habitats

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Introducing a (hopefully) regular, monthly blog post by different bryologists around the country. After the long dry summer, we take a look at some of the interesting ephemeral bryophytes to be found around water bodies like lakes, ponds and reservoirs…

Now is a great time to get out looking at reservoir margins in most parts of the UK. The dry summer has left many reservoirs extremely low, and recent rain has encouraged a flush of the ephemeral species that love this habitat. The drawdown zone of ponds and pools also supports these types of communities and are well worth a look at this time of year.

Recent visits to the Usk and Llwyn-on reservoirs in Brecknock yielded some rather nice species including sheets of fruiting Ephemerum stoloniferum, lots of young Riccia huebeneriana thalli and scattered plants of very happy-looking Physcomitrium sphaericum.

So why not get out and visit your local reservoir if you are fortunate enough to live close to one. Do expect to spend a lot of time on hands and knees though – and an illuminated hand lens is definitely a good idea!

Hopefully the following photos will whet your appetite…

Claire Halpin, October 2022

Published: 4 October 2022